Connect with us

Cars

Ford Mustang Hybrid may give pony-purists two big shocks

Published

on

Ford’s Mustang Hybrid is still on track to shake up the muscle car segment, it’s reported, with the next-generation two-door following on from the Mustang Mach-E. While an all-electric Mustang coupe or convertible still isn’t expected – despite Ford teasing us with a 900hp plug-in Mustang “Lithium” last year – the hybrid is still likely to be enough of a departure from tradition to divide enthusiasts.

Ford’s original plan had been to launch a hybrid Mustang in 2020 it’s believed. Back in 2017, the automaker revealed its big electrification goals for the next few years, including a gas-electric version of the best-selling F-150 truck. That wasn’t to be the only storied nameplate getting some extra voltage, though.

To be built at Ford’s Flat Rock plant, the Mustang Hybrid played it close to the chest with specifications. All Ford would say at the time was that it would pair a gas engine with an electric drivetrain of some sort, for similar performance to a regular V8 gas-only Mustang. There’d also be a bump in low-end torque.

Instead of that car, however, what we’re getting this year is the Mustang Mach-E. Ford’s decision to borrow the Mustang name for its all-electric crossover SUV was a controversial one, easily on a par with the vehicle’s styling. Still, it seems to have done the trick for early demand, with reservations for the 2021 Mustang Mach-E First Edition selling out in short order.

Down the line, though, there’s still a hybrid Mustang to look forward to. In fact, it could end up being more of a game-changer for the pony car than just electrification alone.

In fact, Ford is considering an all-wheel drive Mustang Hybrid, sources tell Autocar UK. That would be a stark departure from the current car, which has always been offered in rear-wheel drive. A Ford patent filing from 2017, meanwhile, gives one possible explanation for how the automaker’s new drivetrain might work.

Granted by the USPTO in late 2019, the patent – “Twin motor drive system for hybrid electric vehicle” – describes a setup where two electric motors flank a traditional gas engine. The latter is responsible for driving the rear wheels, much in the same way that the V8 in the current Mustang GT drives its rear wheels. The two electric motors, however, would independently drive the front wheels.

As with most patents, there’s a whole lot of flexibility built into the language. The combustion engine, for example, could be a V8, and indeed Ford’s graphics show an eight-cylinder engine being involved for the rear wheels. However, the document also makes clear that different gas engines could be implemented.

The electric motors, too, support various configurations. One possibility is a so-called pancake motor, broad and flat, each connected via a reduction gearbox to one of the front wheels. Among the advantages in doing so, Ford explains, “the electric motors may be selectively energized in order to drive the front wheels independently of the rear wheels.”

What such a setup would allow is true torque vectoring. That is, the front wheels on one side of the car could be spun faster than those on the other side, improving turning performance in corners. Alternatively, the Mustang Hybrid could potentially drive on electric power alone, though range in that situation would depend on the size of the batteries onboard.

That’s one big mystery among several still surrounding the car, which isn’t expected to be revealed until 2022. That would put it at the tail-end of Ford’s original “five year” promise for its electrification roadmap, during which time we’ve seen a number of significant shake-ups. In January of this year, for example, Ford confirmed it would be using Rivian’s electric platform as the basis for an upcoming Lincoln EV.

While there’s no word on non-electrified Mustang models, it seems highly unlikely that Ford would opt to do away with gas-only options in such an iconic car. The new Mustang is believed to use the CD6 platform that the Explorer does, its scalable vehicle architecture for midsize and full-size vehicles.

Continue Reading

Cars

BMW iX5 Hydrogen Production Starts, But Don’t Expect To See This Fuel-Cell SUV In Dealerships

Published

on

The reality, though, is that even with a small number of BMW iX5 Hydrogen SUVs being produced — using individual fuel-cells supplied by Toyota, but assembled into a stack by BMW using the automaker’s own processes and technologies — the expectation is that hydrogen as a fuel will be predominantly of interest to non-passenger vehicles. Instead, it arguably makes the most sense, BMW suggests, for larger vehicles like medium- to heavy-duty trucks, along with the marine and aviation sectors. We’ve already seen Toyota reveal its plans for such an FCEV truck.

Despite that, and an acknowledgment that battery-electric vehicles will undoubtedly lead in the mainstream, BMW still believes there’s a place for FCEVs. After all, the automaker argues, if the infrastructure is being built to cater for trucks, there’s no reason not to also use it for passenger vehicles like the iX5 Hydrogen.

The results of the small-series production beginning today will be used as technology demonstrators across select regions from spring 2023, BMW says. It’s unclear at this point how many will be built. Depending on the reception and the strengths of the technology, series production of a first model could follow mid-decade, ahead of a potential full portfolio of BMW FCEVs from the 2030s onwards.

Continue Reading

Cars

Tesla Set To Deliver The First Semi To Pepsi

Published

on

In October, Tesla’s CEO revealed that the production of the Tesla Semi had begun, and it was bound to be delivered today. Tesla has already started the countdown, and we expect the unveiling event to go down at the Nevada factory. The electric truck will be dispatched to Pepsi, which had ordered 100 units. Investor reports that Tesla’s stock price increased by 7.7% on Wednesday, probably in anticipation of Tesla’s Semi first delivery.

Musk tweeted on Saturday that the “Tesla team just completed a 500-mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!” However, considering that Musk said that the company is dealing with supply chain issues and market inflation, it’s unclear if Tesla will stick to the original $180,000 price it intended to sell at when it was announced in 2017. Then again, Tesla offers a cheaper Semi that will be available for about $150,000 — but it can only achieve up to 300 miles at full load capacity. For now, we can only wait until it’s on the road to confirm if the specs match up to what was promised five years ago.  

Continue Reading

Cars

Coinbase Joins Elon Musk In Slamming The Apple App Store Tax

Published

on

Coinbase complained that Apple’s insistence on its cut unreasonably interfered with its business.

Coinbase’s argument was largely the same as Elon Musk’s, and the basis of Epic Games’ aforementioned lawsuit. According to all of the above, Apple was half of a duopoly: with Google, it controlled the global app marketplace. The “duopoly” part of the argument is pretty much incontrovertible: As of October 2022, both Apple and Google control 99.43% of the global smartphone market between them (via StatCounter). Both get a 30% cut of everyone’s action on its marketplace. From the perspective of Coinbase, that took too much money out of too many elements of its business.

Epic sued over that and, as noted above, won with an asterisk. Apple had restricted in-app purchases, and courts found that anticompetitive, but did require that Apple get a 30% cut of the profits, even though they took place in someone else’s app. In short, according to the Verge, the court said that if you’ve found a way to make money using iOS, you owe Apple 30%, period.

Epic thought in-app purchases should be exempted from the tax. Coinbase thinks elements of the NFT development process — in this case, gas prices to run the processing equipment necessary to mint NFTs — should be exempt from Apple’s app tax. Apple treats all user expenses on an app as in-app purchases and, per the Epic court decision, in-app purchases mean Apple gets a cut.

It’s not a simple problem, and it’s not likely to be solved anytime soon. Stakeholders and regulators have barely begun to integrate cryptocurrency and NFTs into the conventional marketplace. Who gets paid for what is likely to be a conversation for years on end. For now, all that’s certain is that conversation has begun.

Continue Reading

Trending